GRANITE?FALLS?- The first item of business before calling the meeting to order in Yellow Medicine County on Tuesday, was to swear in new commissioner John Berends.
Berends was elected to the board of commissioners to fill two years of Commissioner Dick Wambeke's term. Wambeke died unexpectedly last February.
Board Chairman Gary Johnson remarked with approval that the board consists entirely of people with business experience.
Berends is owner of Bootlegger's Supper Club in Granite Falls.
The board also formally accepted County Administrator Ryan Krosch's letter of resignation. Krosch has accepted a position as administrator of Nicollet County. Krosch's last date of work for Yellow Medicine County will be on Dec. 28.
The board voted to hire an employment agency to search for a new administrator and to advertise the position. The commissioners discussed either appointing Family Services Director Peg Heglund or Finance Manager Michelle May, as interim administrator, or splitting the responsibilities of the office between them, but decided to defer a decision until the next meeting.
In other business, after hearing from Sheriff Bill Flaten, the commissioners voted to authorize the purchase of a security control system replacement for the county jail from SGTS Inc. for $46,000, to be paid out of county reserve funds.
The system controls door locks, the intercom system, video surveillance cameras, emergency pushbuttons and power and lighting controls among other systems. The present system is obsolete and no longer supported by manufacturers.
The board also voted at Heglund's recommendation to purchase an EMC Application Xtender from Information Systems Corporation for $61,000 to be paid from reserves.
"It's a computer software program that will enhance the ability of our income maintenance workers to do their jobs," Heglund said.
The software eliminates the need for hand filling of redundant information in paperwork involved in determining eligibility for medical assistance, food support, and cash benefits, which should result in substantial savings of manhours, according to Heglund.
After a sometimes lively discussion among commissioners, the board voted unanimously to purchase a construction management contract from Contegrity Group, Inc.
According to Contegrity vice president Earl Fuechtmann, there are three phases of the contract. The first, costing an estimated $18,000, is to oversee the development and construction oversight of the renovation of the old Fagen Building, which Yellow Medicine County purchased for new office space.
The second phase would be a study of space analysis and use of the court house in Granite Falls to determine how it might be remodeled to accommodate the needs of county government, at a cost of $6,000.
The third phase of the contract would involve planning the next steps, pending the results of the study, at a price to be negotiated after the study is complete.
At the request of Nick Johnson, city administrator of Canby, the board authorized an expansion of the Canby demolition material landfill in Hammer Township to twice its present size.
Johnson explained that once new state regulations go into effect, expansion of the landfill might be impractical, and Canby wanted the changes grandfathered in.
The board deferred a decision on a request from 4Lancers, Inc. for a county tax abatement for a newly constructed Subway restaurant. The City of Canby has granted 4Lancers a 10-year abatement for the project.